Can't an emotionally complex, religiously ambiguous metal band get a break? Even though the members of introspective prog-metal titans Shai Hulud are neither uniformly spiritual nor sober, the band has been combating both the "straight edge" and "Christian" tags almost since its inception in 1995. Genre is apparently a point of conflict, too. Originally calling themselves a "metalcore" band as a joke, the tag stuck and became irksome as it linked the band to melodic death metal. The band is currently working on a follow-up to 2008's Misanthropy Pure, which featured song titles like "To Bear the Brunt of Many Blades" and enough pinched, shrieking guitar harmonics to shatter a wine glass. If one thing is for certain, Shai Hulud loves gigantic tri-toothed worm beasts. The band is named for the sand monster from Frank Herbert's fantasy epic Dune, which was adapted into a movie that almost killed the career of auteur genius David Lynch. According to a recent viral infographic called "Know Your Sandworms," the shai hulud are the largest of all the weirdly named sandworms from popular movies. They significantly dwarf the saarlac from Star Wars, tower over the graboid from Tremors, and eke out the creepy black-and-white-striped eel from Beetlejuice. Good thing that's been settled.
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